Benera and Estefan
Artist book and research project

Author: Anca Benera
Editorial concept: Anca Benera & Alina Serban
Language: Romanian/ English
Number of pages: 318
Published by: Romania Cultural Institute
Texts by: Ioana Beldiman, Ellen Blumenstein, Reuben Fowkes, Duncan Light, Ciprian Mihali, Deborah Schultz, Alina Serban, Ioana Vlasiu
Design: Arnold Estefan
ISBN 978-973-577-621-3
Year: 2011

Envisioned and initiated by the artist Anca Benera, the project Matter & History documents in the form of book the exceptional state in which public monuments exist, searching how, in what way and why such representations survive in public space. The book brings together a series of case studies, presented in the form of individual files, which describe, logically and chronologically, the cultural and social conditions that led to the building of monuments; a collection of theoretical texts which highlight the historical behaviors, artistic practices and collective realities; and an audio CD that provides the listener with a fictional tour of 13 monuments around Bucharest, some of which no longer exist today. From collective forgetting to physical disappearance, from the perpetuation of classicizing artistic traditions to the incorporation of monumental ambitions, from the flamboyant rhetoric of the political to the loss of public credibility, from idolatry to vandalism, the book presents the various metamorphoses of public monuments showcasing the complex relationship between matter and symbol, between the political and historical order, between discourse and image.